A Cook and Her Herbs: Risotto with Preboggion, Upstate New York–Style

Erica De Mane

Pair of Wild Herbs, by Sophie Labayle.

Recipe below: Risotto with Preboggion, Upstate New York–Style

I love a big foraged armful of spring greens from my upstate New York backyard. They’re the best thing to eat not just for health but mostly because I like them. They look good too, with their various shades of green. I’m especially drawn to dark leaves, like the ones on stinging nettles. And all this rummaging around drags me back in time to my Puglian and Campanian ancestors. I imagine that Achille, Fortunata, Caprina, Tecla, Assunta, and Leonardo also liked the look and aroma of wild weeds and herbs. Dandelions smell pissy and sweet. The wild thyme and mint around my place are pungent, almost too bitter to eat, but a little heat tames them, so they’re good in a marinade for stuff destined for the grill. The southern Italian foraging genes that…

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